ERLC to Hold Conference to Equip Christians After Supreme Court Ruling on Marriage


The Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission will hold a conference to equip pastors and churches for the legal and cultural landscape in place after the U.S. Supreme Court rules on same-sex marriage.

The ERLC will conduct the event, Equip Austin, July 29 at the Austin Stone Community Church in Austin, Texas, the SBC entity announced Monday (May 4). The conference — sponsored in partnership with the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention — will be held about a month after the Supreme Court is expected to rule on gay marriage.

The justices heard oral arguments April 28 to decide whether same-sex marriage will be legal throughout the country or states will retain the authority to define marriage as only between a man and a woman. The high court is expected to issue a closely decided opinion by the end of its term in late June or early July.

The Supreme Court’s decision likely will have major implications for religious liberty and Christian ministry in America. Austin’s event speakers will try to equip followers of Christ and their churches to engage a “post-marriage society” with Gospel faithfulness, according to the ERLC.

Russell Moore, the ERLC’s president, called it “a watershed moment in our nation’s history.”

“[R]egardless of whether our land’s highest court recognizes the unchangeable or not, we will hold steadfast,” he said in a news release. “Even more, regardless of the decision, the church will have to learn to engage a culture with the Gospel in which we cannot assume people share our same understanding of marriage. As we seek to equip churches for this task I’m thrilled to partner with this exceptional band of leaders at this event to think through what Gospel faithfulness looks like in our ever-changing culture.”

In addition to Moore, the speakers for “The Gospel and Same-sex Marriage: Equipping the Church for a Post-marriage Culture,” will include:

— Rosaria Butterfield, author of “The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert,” which describes her journey from a lesbian lifestyle to Christ.

— Matt Carter, lead pastor of Austin Stone Community Church.

— Matt Chandler, lead pastor for teaching of the Village Church in the Dallas metropolitan area.

— Jackie Hill Perry, a poet who came to Christ out of a lesbian lifestyle.

— Jim Richards, executive director of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention.

— Mike Goeke, associate pastor of First Baptist Church in San Francisco who was delivered from homosexuality.

Registration is available for attendance at the event, which will be from 6 to 9:30 p.m., but it also will be live streamed online.



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SOURCE: Baptist Press

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